AFC AND UN WOMEN KENYA TRAIN FARMERS IN KERICHO COUNTY 2019
17th – 20th September 2019. AFC in partnership with UN Women Kenya trained over 200 farmers in Kericho County at Emmanuel AGC church grounds. The training aimed at linking more women to financial services through AFC’s Women Affirmative Access Window (WAAW), an innovative initiative to reach out to women through training and information sharing to bridge the gap of financial exclusion. The training focused on financial literacy, budgeting and savings, record keeping, farming as a business, HIV/AIDS, case studies/ experience sharing, gender mainstreaming and life skills, marketing & distribution, loan management and how to make a business plan. In his remarks, AFC Chairman Hon. Franklin Bett reminded farmers that Agriculture is a profitable venture if they remain diligent and disciplined, and that it is important for more people to engage in agriculture for Kenya to achieve food security which is one of the pillars in the President’s Big Four Agenda. “Agriculture may look dirty but it is clean money” he said. He also noted that AFC is now focusing on increasing women and youth’s participation in agriculture and that programs addressing the unique challenges faced by women and youth in accessing Agri Finance. Farmers were also informed on AFC’s commitments to offering technical assistance in the form of business plan development, farmer sensitization sessions among others in addition to credit to ensure that they succeed in agribusiness. Gracing the sessions were the Kericho County Assembly Member Hon. Paul Chirchir, Agriculture CEC Eng. Philip Mason and Director of Agriculture in charge of Crops Mr. Bernard Kirui. Mr. Kirui urged farmers to attend public participation forums in order to ensure that areas of priority in agriculture are included in the County Budget, noting that it was critical for farmers to take the initiative to hold leaders accountable when it comes to the agriculture sector. He also invited farmers to visit the Agricultural offices, located in every sub county for technical assistance. Eng. Mason in his closing remarks urged farmers to practice what they had learnt in the training and not to be afraid of taking AFC loans. He assured them that the department of Agriculture would explore areas of possible collaboration with the Corporation to assist farmers access financing. He also encouraged farmers to form agricultural working groups for enhanced productivity and that the County is always ready to support them with technical support for group formation. AFC and UN Women Kenya will hold another workshop in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County from 24th to 27th September, 2019. A minimum of 100 farmers will be selected purposely targeting women and youth who will form fifty percent of the participants.